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The Keys to Building and Maintaining Your Reputation
Why is Reputation Important?
Reputation is the foundation of any social activity you participate in. In our society, an unfortunate fact is that physical appearance is a strong factor in how other people judge you. But a good reputation is stronger because it has depth - looks are shallow, and even though people make their first judgement off of the puddle of external looks and perceptions, reputation is a deep and satisfying well that will win them over in the end.
Building and Maintaining a Strong Reputation
A good reputation starts with a small deed that starts the repute process in the minds of people. An act of generosity, honesty or kindness can be a good path towards a well earned reputation. People will notice your deed while word of mouth strengthens and often amplifies the effect of your actions. Continue in this type of activity, taking every chance to build a positive image for yourself, while building up those around you.
Understand that insincere actions and hollow words won't get you anywhere. Only pursue areas that you really enjoy and know that you can help others in - your deeds and actions must be genuine, or the results will be as temporal and shallow as the first impression of physical looks.
You must also know how to protect your reputation against people who are envious and opposes you.
Honest simplicity is the key to have an appealing reputation. In this way people will less likely doubt you and thus present you with opportunities to further your reputation.
Instilling Confidence in Yourself and in Others
Defending your reputation can create a battlefield, and the war should be fought with temperamental confidence. Compose yourself when faced with criticism or harmful gossip. You need to be able to create an impression that you are confident in what you stand for, remaining secure with what you have.
Practicing this within yourself will bring you to a level of confidence that will eventually influence the people you surround yourself with. Raising their confidence (both in you and in themselves) will only strengthen your reputation.
Responding to Personal Attacks
Your reputation should be guarded at all costs, but the way that you go about it is vital to your success. Lashing back at the attacker will only make you look weak and foolish. Wait for the opportune moment and confront the individual in private.
Don't accuse, but simply ask calm and friendly questions about the incident in a way that corners them into revealing why they did it. This is the first tactic that should be used, as the risk is low and the chance of benefit is great. Many times you'll end up with a valuable ally thanks to the respect you earned from honest candor.
There are times when your opponent refuses to listen to reason. If this is the case, your patience is the most valuable asset you have. Ignore all of the attacks (within reason), and simply smile and shake your head if someone brings it up. This will all but prove your innocence and maturity, simultaneously causing the attacker to lose reputation in the eyes of others. Laughing or smiling at the attack can be good, but do not mock, or you will be regarded as bitter and juvenile.
An influential reputation produces a beacon of self respect for you by others. It magnifies your strengths while hiding your weaknesses. Not only does a strong reputation shield you from bullying but it also acts as a source of leverage in accomplishing what you need done.